FFA must save the Newcastle Jets

John Davidson Roar Guru

By John Davidson, John Davidson is a Roar Guru

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16 Have your say

    Football Federation Australia has killed off the North Queensland Fury and let Gold Coast United die. But it must do everything in its power to keep the Newcastle Jets alive after owner Nathan Tinkler decided to walk way this morning.

    Why, you might be asking? What makes the Jets different to the Fury and Gold Coast?

    A few things, in my opinion. History for one.

    As I wrote back in September 2010 when Con Constantine went under and before Nathan Tinkler stepped in, Newcastle is a proud footballing region.

    The connection to the round ball game goes back around 130 years. There are few older in Australia.

    The Hunter has always been a battling region, and the same can be said for its representative teams in the NSL and then the A-League.

    It has produced countless Socceroos. Some can be included in the discussions of Australia’s greatest ever footballers. Like Reg Date, a striker from Wallsend who was a fearsome goalscorer. And Ray Baartz, the skillful attacking player who payed for Australia 49 times. A teenager who joined Manchester United in the late 1960s, Baartz unfortunately missed out on the 1974 World Cup after a freak injury in a friendly game.

    And, of course, Craig Johnston. The kid from Lake Macquarie who conquered English football during a fantastic seven year stint at Liverpool FC.

    They all came from Newcastle, along with many others who have represented Australia in the beautiful game, both men and women.

    There’s also the future. Who else will the talented kids of the Northern NSW Football Federation play for? Who will they aspire to be and who will give them a chance if there is no local professional club? Where will the next Young Socceroo captain Ben Kantarovski, midfield general Troy Halpin or Joey Luke Remington go to?

    There’s also the fans. Newcastle clubs have always had fans, and I’m not talking two or three thousand. This season, under new community programs and ticket initiatives, they have grown. They have grown from strength to strength. The passion for football in this city is there.

    Newcastle football supporters have often been maligned – from KB United, to Rosebud, Australs, Breakers, United and finally the Jets, yet they have endured and endured. They have persisted. They keep coming back.

    They have survived David Hall and Constantine, and hopefully they will survive Tinkler’s departure.

    A rare ray of light came on February 24, 2008, in the Jets grand final win over the Central Coast Mariners.

    Newcastle finally has a world class place to play in Hunter Stadium, and a stadium deal that doesn’t send it broke. It has the foundations for player development with strong junior clubs in the area and its own long-standing State League in operation, in which the Jets youth league team now plays.

    Should the FFA hand Newcastle and the Hunter region over to rugby league entirely? No.

    Should Australia’s seventh largest city only have one professional sporting club? No.

    Can the FFA afford to abandon one of the foundation A-League clubs? No.

    Should they prop up the Newcastle Jets until a new owner can be found? Yes.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • April 10th 2012 @ 12:24pm
      darkmeist said | April 10th 2012 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

      From a Jets / soccer fan, it’s a sad day for Newcastle, hopefully for soccer supporters’ sake the Jets can continue…and not just supporters in the Hunter region, as today’s news will rock the soccer code to it’s foundations across the country and if it ends badly here in soccer’s heartland I fear for the code in Australia. C’mon the Jets!

    • April 10th 2012 @ 12:26pm
      jc of newcastle said | April 10th 2012 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

      I highly doubt the FFA will have the money after announcing the Western Syd venture. This could very well be the beginning of the end for the A-League.

      This is a shame when an unsustainable league is met with inept management

    • April 10th 2012 @ 12:33pm
      Matt F said | April 10th 2012 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

      I can’t see newcastle going the same way as GC and NQ. The jets aren’t bleeding money like the others were, at least not to the same extent, and they had the 3rd highest average attendance this season.


      The Jets have a good supporter base and are a far more attractive proposition for a potential new owner then either of the other two clubs.

      The FFA have serious questions to answer here but I think the Jets will survive this.

    • April 10th 2012 @ 12:45pm
      Dinoweb said | April 10th 2012 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

      Does the FFA have enough money to prop up both Newcastle and Western Sydney? I doubt it. They cant even organise decent advertising for the current finals series.

      What do they do then, chose 1 of them and go with 9 teams, or ditch both and go with 8? Pitty they slamed the door on Gold Coast. Western Sydney could have gone on the back burner, and that money could have kept the Jets and GCU afloat while new financial backers were sought. It should certainly be cheeper to keep existing clubs going than to start a new one.

      Of course, with the treatment of both Tinkler and Palmer, which australian billionaire is going to touch the A-League now?

      The FFA has already alienated fans in Tasmania, Wollongong, Canberra, Gold Coast, and Townsville. Should they chose to support only one or neither club, they can certainly add more to that list.

      Sucks to be Buckley right now.

    • Roar Guru

      April 10th 2012 @ 12:53pm
      Fussball ist unser leben said | April 10th 2012 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

      NUJ is one of the huge off-field (and they did pretty well on-field this year) success stories of Season 7. They had record memberships & average home crowds were the 2nd highest in their 7 year history in the HAL.

      Tinkler has walked away, but the club is a viable ongoing concern and we must thank Tinkler & HSG for resurrecting the club and handing it back to the FFA in a much stronger position than it was 2 years ago.

      I can’t see any major issues with the FFA getting new backers from the Newcastle region.

    • Roar Guru

      April 10th 2012 @ 1:00pm
      The Cattery said | April 10th 2012 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

      Is this the time to say to the people of Newcastle, we need you to support the idea of a community owned club?

      We need 20,000 individuals willing to spend $300 each on buying a share in the new club, giving you the right to appoint your own board and president.

      • April 10th 2012 @ 1:20pm
        jc of newcastle said | April 10th 2012 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        where will the 20,000 come from?? sorry to say but i think its all over

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